NeveHarms Dr. Clarence V. Ward is an Ophthalmologist who graduated from Spalding in 1940, University of Notre Dame in 1944 and St. Louis University School of Medicine in 1946. He served 2 years in the Army in Japan and had a 2-year residency at Hines Veteran Hospital. He has been in private practice in Ophthalmology continuously since 1952.
Dr. Ward received the University of Notre Dame Man of the Year Award in 1983, the IL State Medical Society Award for Outstanding Team Physician in 1990 and the Peoria Area Catholic High School Team Physician Award in 1992.
In 1965, the year that Bergan High School entered the Mid State 8, which then became the Mid State 9, he was asked by his good friend, Dr. George Best, to act as Bergan's Team Physician because Dr. Best's son, freshman Marty Best, was Bergan's starting quarterback. From that game and for the next 22 years Dr. Ward served as Bergan's Team Physician and then continued to serve in the same capacity for 4 more years as Spalding and Bergan merged to become Peoria Notre Dame High School.
Dr. Ward served 14 years under Head Coach Jim Heid, 5 years under the legendary Merv Haycock, 4 years under Tim Dougherty and 4 years under Jim Donahue. When asked onetime Why an Ophthalmologist was the Team Doctor, Ward replied "because my back-up man is an OB Gynecologist Specialist".
Dr. Clarence V. Ward is an Ophthalmologist who graduated from Spalding in 1940, University of Notre Dame in 1944 and St. Louis University School of Medicine in 1946. He served 2 years in the Army in Japan and had a 2-year residency at Hines Veteran Hospital. He has been in private practice in Ophthalmology continuously since 1952.
A two-sport star (baseball and basketball) at both Limestone High School and Illinois Central College, Thome went on to a legendary baseball career as one of the top sluggers in Major League Baseball history. A 13th-round selection by the Cleveland Indians in 1989, Thome made his MLB debut in 1991. After a 22-year career with Indians, Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, Minnesota Twins and Baltimore Orioles, Thome ranks seventh in Major League history with 612 home runs and 24th with 1,699 runs batted in, while boasting a .276 career batting average. He was a five-time All-Star and received Most Valuable Player votes in nine different seasons. Thome helped Cleveland to World Series appearances in both 1995 and 1997 and he hit 17 career postseason home runs. Thome led the American League in slugging in 2002 (.677) and the National League with 47 home runs in 2003 and he received a 1996 Silver Slugger Award. Thome also was the 2006 Americal League Comeback Player of the Year. Recognized for his integrity, sportsmanship and community involvement, Thome received the Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award in 2001 and 2004, as well as the 2002 Roberto Clemente Award and the 2004 Lou Gehrig Memorial Award. The Cleveland organization dedicated a statue of Thome outside Progressive Field following his official retirement in 2014.